Iraq’s Constitution

Iraq’s final constitution (Arabic)


This is the Arabic text of Iraq’s constitution.  The constitution was approved by referendum on 15 October 2005, and entered into force in 2006 when Nouri al-Maliki’s first government was sworn into office.  This particular version of the constitution is a scanned copy of the relevant section from Iraq’s Official Gazette, which is the most official source available.


Iraq’s final constitution (English)

MS Word

This is an unofficial translation of Iraq’s constitution.  This translation was originally prepared in 2005, and Zaid has been making various improvements to it since.  Amongst other things, he has included titles for each individual article and has included an interactive table of contents for ease of reference.  Please note however that no translation is perfect and that the only official version of the constitution that researchers should use for their purposes is the Arabic original.


Previously unpublished drafts

Zip file (38MB)

This file makes available to the public for the first time a large number of drafts that were prepared by drafters and other officials in 2005 when the constitution was negotiated and drafted.  The Arabic originals were given to Zaid Al-Ali as they were prepared throughout 2005; the English translations were either prepared by Zaid, or widely circulated in Iraq and abroad by the media or other sources at the time.  The study of these drafts makes up the backbone of the conclusions reached by Zaid on the manner in which the constitution was drafted, which are set out in Chapter 3 of his book.  In summary, the drafts clearly show how the substance of what was being negotiated dramatically changed direction in August 2005 when the constitutional committee (the official body that was charged with drafting the constitution) was dissolved and replaced by the Leadership Council (an informal and unrepresentative body, whose membership is still unclear and who had the support of the US embassy in Baghdad).  Full details are set out in Chapter 3 of the book.


Official documents relating to the constitution

Zip file (4MB)

This folder includes a number of official documents relating to the drafting and the content of the Iraqi constitution.  These include agreements on process that were entered into prior to 2005, official requests of assistance from the Iraq authorities to international organisations, and the report of the constitution revision committee that was finalised in 2009.


Studies and commentaries relating to the constitution

Zip file (16MB)

This folder brings together a number of studies and commentaries that were prepared on the Iraqi constitution. These include studies that were prepared before the drafting process began, during the drafting process, and after the constitution was finalised. They also include studies that are publicly available as well as some that have been in circulation but that have not been widely publicised. Several of the studies that were finalised in late 2005, which was when the constitution had essentially taken form, correctly predicted that the constitution would serve as a major impediment to reconciliation and that it would even represent a threat to the state’s survival.


Iraq’s previous constitutions

Zip file (3MB)

This folder brings together all of Iraq’s previous constitutions, from the late Ottoman basic documents to the 2004 interim constitution that was passed by the US administered Coalition Provisional Authority. The folder includes the Arabic originals and unofficial translations. Zaid has changed the manner in which some of these documents are presented, mainly by creating table of contents and including titles for each individual article, for ease of reference.